Floriane has a more complex job than many in Champagne, perhaps, as she is responsible for a brand that draws on wines made by three different wineries, which work together under the Alliance Champagne Co-operative. In total, Floriane and her three cellar-master colleagues have 1,200 different wines to taste from October to December following the harvest each year.
After four months of work deciding on the blend, the wines will be put into the cellars for their second fermentation. Floriane still has years to wait, though, before she – and we – can judge whether her hard work has paid off, as the minimum 3 years on lees ticks by. Even then, though, more patience is required as the final Champagne will not show its true colours until a period of integration following disgorgement. For the cellarmaster, nerves of steel as well as skill are required.